Monday, May 29, 2006

Corporate Advertising

Even though this Blog is new and the traffic is relatively low (only a million hits so far), I have decided to go ahead and lease out parts of it to corporate advertisers.

So I phoned a representative from the Coca-Cola corporation, and told him about the deal."Two eight by two inch banners at a thousand dollars a month, plus $0.02 royalty on every coke sold through my site."

He asked me how many submarines I would be putting the banners on, and if they showed up in any National Georgraphic or Discovery Channel documentaries.

"I meant for my website," I said.

"Does your website link with the National Geographic or Discovery Channel's website?"

"Not now, but I haven't called them yet. They were next on my list."

With Coca-Cola noncommittal, I next phoned the offices of Larry Flynt's Hustler magazine. A man with a gurgling, high-pitched voice answered, "Who's this?"

I told him about the offer, and that I would lower the asking price to a one time fee of five thousand dollars for an eight by ten inch banner, with a royalty of $0.01 for every magazine sold through my site.

He said that he was sorry, but he couldn't take on any more debt at the moment. Larry Flynt Enterprises had spent so much money on internet advertising that it was down to one employee again. Larry thanked me for calling, but said that there were already enough banner ads for Hustler magazine to stretch from here to Venus and back, and he paid out a nickel every time one was clicked.

I thanked him for all the good times, and hung up.

I next phoned Google, the popular internet search engine, and told them about the hottest new site on the web. They almost immediately agreed to the terms I offered, with one exception. They wanted me to pay for a link on their site. "Listen, lady," I said, my pride hurt, "there isn't enough room on the internet for both of us. One day, we'll either merge, or you'll come around and pay to advertise on my site."

Friday, May 26, 2006

Who fired the first shot?

Editor's note: though we tried, we were unable to post these installments in real-time from the South China Sea

0600 May 26 2006

Today we have chartered a Vietnamese fishing boat, Huang Lee, and are sailing out into the Gulf of Tonkin to gather evidence for a documentary about the Vietnam war, Who fired the first shot? We are set to rendezvous with a crew from the Discovery Channel at 0800 hours.

0950 May 26 2006

Well, still no sign of the Discovery Channel. We contacted the Vietnamese coast guard, but they refused to send help, even though I said (I was joking!) I was holding a gun to our Vietnamese guide's head. Not wanting to lose out on good conditions, I have decided to go ahead with the first dive, hoping to take some footage before the Discovery team arrives.

1050 May 26 2006

The ocean floor here is pretty dull, and I am not seeing any of the naval vessels I was told would be here. The water is very thick with silt, and I fear I will not accomplish much on this dive.

1200 May 26 2006

Dive ended successfully, but still no sign of the Discovery crew. Roger, our captain, has suggested to me, in not so kind terms, that the whole thing was a ruse. He thinks whoever called me claiming to be from the Discovery Channel was kidding. He says there is no documentary called Who fired the first shot? being filmed, and that you wouldn't find anything by combing the ocean floor here anyway. I think Roger needs to be a little less paranoid! I hope he cheers up when I tell him they also promised to pay us each one million dollars.

1600 May 26 2006

Our fears have been allayed. At last, a ship is fast approaching! And none too soon, because the weather is starting to take a turn for the worse. However . . . it is a curious looking ship. It is not the gleaming beauty of scientific wonders I had expected from the Discovery Channel. In fact . . . let me get a better look here . . . why, yes . . . why, no! I'm afraid it is the Vietnamese coast guard. Now I'm even more afraid, because they appear to be carrying machine guns. I think it best that I shut-down my laptop for now. I don't want it to be damaged in the hail of bullets.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Research funds sorely lacking

Editor's note: This happened two or three months ago, and still the funding hasn't poured in.

I looked at the altimiter and it read: -20,000. 20,000 Leagues below the sea! I was all alone at the bottom of the ocean. Nobody was looking. I took the beer out of my jacket and opened it. I drank it, and became so inebriated, from only one beer, that I could not move or think for what seemed an awfully long time, considering that I was heading for the bottom of the Marianas Trench. The buzz from one beer---just one!---felt so good at those depths that I could have died a happy man. About to crash into a wall? No problem. Still, I have family back home, I thought, so I better get back there and tell them about this. I thought: this is going to make me rich. When people find out how good it feels to drink just one beer at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, everyone will want to do it. I will charge them one million per. If Bill Gates thought he had a good idea with Windows, wait until he hears about this. Maybe he will provide the funding for more expeditions. I sure hope so.

Amazing New Species Discovered!

ichymus pichymus
It was one of those days every Marine Biologist dreams of. We had the submarine down to, oh, ten or fifteen miles below the surface. It sure felt like it! I was teaching my co-pilot, Max, a hyperactive twelve-year-old, to use the search-light and the on-board camera. And what was the first thing we spotted? A new species of striped finner fish! Yes, that's right: we took a snapshot of this never-before seen fish and then scooped it up with our specimin-vacuum-arm. After taking it back to the lab and dissecting it, we dubbed it ichymus pichymus, which is latin for "the smiling striped finner fish."

Welcome to my Blog

Welcome to my new Blog, Notes from a Miniature Submarine! You (by 'you' I mean 'the one or two people who happened here while looking for fish tank supplies') must be wondering, "What is this site all about? Is this guy a marine biologist, or something? "And the answer is: yes, I am a marine biologist. And, yes, I do pilot a miniature submarine on marine expeditions. And, yes, I am well paid and get to keep the sub in my garage. I never said I was good at it. But, yeah, I get to go to exotic places like the Sargasso sea. We put the sub (which cost something like eight million dollars of tax-payers' money) on the boat (which is usually a rental), and then we go toodling out into the middle of...nowhere. The GPS guys take care of that. Then, when we have found a good spot (usually signalled by my yelling, 'a fish! a fish!') we lower the submarine into the water and I climb down inside. Oftentimes one of the crew members' snot-nosed kids will make the voyage with us, and will beg to climb down in the submarine with me. Because we cannot allow children to have nervous breakdowns on the ship, which is a rental, I usually allow the child aboard, so long as it does not touch any of the controls, which are sensitive, and which, if steered in the wrong direction for so much as a second, could result in the submarine imploding. Cruising along the ocean floor, we witness every manner of marine life, squid, whales, barnacle encrusted pirate ships, and my very favorite, the electric eel. And that is what this site is all about! My adventures as the pilot of a miniature submarine...with pictures!